Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Decision-Making

How to Manage Changes in Leadership

Communications, Decision-Making, Employee Engagement, General Life/Work, Human Resources, Managing/Leadership, Organizational Change Management (OCM)

changes-in-leadership

By Denise Larcade

Whether a leader of a company abruptly leaves or a new leader is brought in, changes in leadership effect the entire organization. Today I am sharing some tips so you are well-equipped to handle these changes or make your own changes if necessary.

When a leader of a company leaves, there can be a domino effect of more people leaving the organization as well. The question is, what causes people to leave? Individuals ‘follow the leader’ either because the leader has left and then reached out to pull the individual along to their new venture or the individual has reached out to their former leader to identify an opportunity that may be better than the unknown they are left in.

Before you ‘follow the leader,’ you need to weigh your options to make sure you’re making the best choice. Here are some items to consider:

  • Are there facts that support the leader’s reason for departure?
  • Is your departure the right personal decision for you and your family?
  • Are you leaving your current position for a position you know is equal to or better than your current position?

If your answers to these questions were a quick yes, yes, yes, then ‘following the leader’ might just be the right decision for you. Regardless of your answers, you should also consider compensation and vacation/paid time off when deciding to make the transition to a new company. Oftentimes, you may be starting at the bottom, which could outweigh the benefit of being on the same team as your former mentor, boss, or supervisor.

On the other side of this coin, what happens when a new leader emerges? New leadership changes the dynamic of a company, from the c-suite on down. While you may be nervous about your new leader, remember that change may not happen immediately. New leaders should first engage with the business and determine what needs to change and what the priority is for making changes.

If you’re worried about the changes a new leader may bring, keep in mind that the circumstances by which the new leadership was placed can play a factor in how big or small the change ends up being.

For example, if the leader is replacing his or her former mentor who is retiring, the result could be little change. On the other hand, if the new leadership comes into position to help fix the company’s declining performance, you can usually expect big change.

So what does this mean for you? Change can be good and many positive impacts can result from change. A new leader will likely create a supporting structure in order to accomplish changes successfully. Moreover, a leader is seeking a team that supports their change initiatives. Supporting leadership and being part of the change says a lot about you to your leaders.

A leader will also identify who or what is in the way of successfully achieving a change goal or initiative. If you are a road block to the change process, you could end up with more change than you anticipated. If you don’t agree with the change initiatives or goals presented by the new leadership, it may be time for you to look elsewhere.

Of course, remember that ‘elsewhere’ likely comes with additional change, so no matter the circumstance, it’s important to weigh your options when deciding whether or not to make a change yourself.

What are some of the best ways you have found to handle changes in leadership?

About the Author: Denise Larcade is an Organizational Development Consultant and Merger and Acquisitions Expert. She has over 25 years of experience in training, development, and leading companies through organizational change management. Denise has worked in corporate retail, technology, and government healthcare and most recently has experience with large-scale implementations nationwide. She currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., providing client support to one of KAI Partners’ state clients. Denise grew up in the Silicon Valley and relocated to Utah and Idaho before recently returning to her native California roots.

How the Business of Parenting is the Business of Business

Communications, Decision-Making, General Life/Work, Managing/Leadership, Team Building

intelligent-child-dumb-parents-modern-family-ecards-someecards
Photo Credit: Someecards

By Sarah Walsh

When I was in the second grade, I wrote a book called “All About Me.” A line from the book that has stuck out as a family favorite for almost-30 years is, “Most of the time, my parents talk about business, but sometimes they talk about me.” Ah, the plight of the only child being raised by two high-achieving, business-focused people.

As a surprise to no one, I—along with my high-achieving, business-focused husband—am now raising an (often precocious) only child as well. And again, as a surprise to no one, the conversations in our house revolve mostly around business. I’ve come to realize, though, that my parents were onto something.

Instead of talking to me like a kid, they talked to me like an adult and as a result, my thinking has—save for the teenage years—been practical and level-headed. I can count on one finger a time that I’ve had a tantrum at work. Mostly, I am able to keep calm and collected by simply bringing it back to basics.

Much of what you need to know to get through the daily grind are things you probably learned as a kid. And they’re probably all things we as parents try to drill into our kids every day. Here are some of my favorite things to keep in mind as I navigate this thing called life:

Honesty is the Best Policy
When I was first starting my career, I remember thinking, “Soon I won’t make any mistakes!” You won’t be surprised to learn that despite age and experience, the mistakes keep coming. What’s critical is managing and recovering from those mistakes. One no-no for me personally is lying. Maybe it’s because I’m a terrible liar, but I’d much rather be honest than try to cover up a lie with more lies. The key is knowing when and to whom to fess up. I am always a fan of the, “There was a problem, but we fixed it” method of honesty, provided I can fix the problem myself without requiring escalation. If not, then in that case…

If There’s a Problem, Tell an Adult
The adult of course, being your boss, mentor, colleague, etc. Very rarely are we expected to solve every problem on our own. In fact, what makes a truly great team is the cohesiveness and desire to problem-solve together. Having trusted bright minds on your side to help think of proposed solutions to your problem will help you get out from under any big issue. Surround yourself with good people and you’ll be in good hands, no matter the circumstance.

Don’t be Afraid to Make a Decision
While my daughter has free rein to make most of her own decisions, she sometimes waffles, unsure of the “right” decision to make. (Don’t worry, at 5-years-old, these decisions are mostly of the, “What should I wear?” variety). A phrase my husband is fond of saying is, “A good decision is good enough; we can always improve it.” Simply making a decision can help keep the momentum going so your team doesn’t get caught up in the bottle-neck that can be the decision-making process. Our own fearless leader here at KAI Partners recently relayed this same sentiment. For us Type-As in the group, it was maddening, but it was what needed to be done so we could continue forward progress on our newest project.

Many Hands Make for Light Work
This is something my mom has said for as long as I can remember. When I was 13, and she wanted help unloading the groceries, this was not a mantra I enjoyed hearing. Now that I’m an adult, I see what she means. We all need to get stuff done and if we all pitch in, then it’ll get done more quickly, leaving us time to move onto other tasks. I remember hearing something once about the chair movers versus the non-chair movers. Basically, there are two types of people at work: Those who will help set up the meeting room—arranging the table and chairs, etc.—and those who show up to the meeting and sit down. Of course, not everyone needs to be a chair mover at every meeting, but the key is knowing when to pitch in and help out so that the day can progress versus being too prideful to roll up your sleeves and help get it done.

What about you? Is there something you learned as a kid that applies in your professional life? Perhaps, how to deal with the office bully? Share it with us in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Walsh has nearly a decade of communications experience, including public sector roles in the California State Senate and State Assembly, as well as private sector roles for a sovereign Native American tribe and a global pharmaceutical company. In addition to communications work, Sarah and her husband are team captains and fundraisers for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual Walk MS event. When she’s not writing, editing, or soliciting her friends and family for MS Walk donations, she loves performing improv, hanging out with her husband and 5-year-old daughter, and cooking. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahsykeswalsh.

Best of the Best Practices: Decision-Making

Best Practices, Communications, Decision-Making, General Life/Work, Managing/Leadership, Project Management

Best of the Best

By Sarah Walsh

Companies both big and small can easily get bogged down in the decision-making process. Whether you have too many decision-makers or just not the right decision-makers identified, there is always room to streamline the decision-making process. Here are some best practices we found that tackle this issue.

3 Best Practices for High Performance Decision Making Teams from Cloverpop

You know we love the why. This article from Cloverpop focuses on a few best practices you can implement to create a more streamlined decision-making process—and at the heart is explaining why a decision was made in order to get buy-in from your team.

The five steps to better decisions from Bain

This comprehensive guide from Bain outlines five key steps to increase more effective decision-making. Some of our favorite tips include making sure people are clear on the roles they should play in the decision-making process and focusing on those decisions that are most important.

5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Decision Making from Forbes

This quick and easy article has some great, no-nonsense tips for what to consider when making a decision. This is more geared toward the solo decision-maker, but any of these tips can be applied in a group decision-making setting, as well. (A personal favorite: “Shelve ego and emotion”).

7 Best Practices for Effective Group Decision-Making from Philosophy IB

Some key tips included here, from management consulting firm Philosophy IB, include formulating a decision-making approach and bringing in a facilitator to drive the meeting.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Meetings from Project Management Hacks

Meetings are often where decisions get made, so it seemed appropriate to add some meeting best practices to this list, as well. These tips from Project Management Hacks no-brainers. “Prewire Important Points and Decisions” and “Manage the Meeting by the Clock” will help streamline both your meeting and the decisions made in your meeting.

What are some of your best favorite practices for decision-making? Share them with us in the comments!

About the Author: Sarah Walsh has nearly a decade of communications experience, including public sector roles in the California State Senate and State Assembly, as well as private sector roles for a sovereign Native American tribe and a global pharmaceutical company. In addition to communications work, Sarah and her husband are team captains and fundraisers for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual Walk MS event. When she’s not writing, editing, or soliciting her friends and family for MS Walk donations, she loves performing improv, hanging out with her husband and 5-year-old daughter, and cooking. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahsykeswalsh.

The Pros and Cons of Waterfall and Agile [INFOGRAPHIC]

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Decision-Making, Infographic, Project Management, Scrum, Technology, Waterfall

If you are thinking about using either the Waterfall method or the Agile approach on your next project, check out this quick and comprehensive infographic from Global One Connection. The infographic outlines the pros and cons of both the Waterfall and Agile methods, and can help as you make your decision. At KAI Partners, we are experienced with both methods–our staff are both Project Management Professional certified and Certified Scrum Masters. To learn more about how we can help you on your next project–whether Waterfall or Agile–contact us at info@kaipartners.com.

Via: Global One Connection